Why This College?
If you are a recent university graduate searching for a job, take note that today’s employment market is highly competitive. If you are looking to be hired by your first choice company, you must practice and prep for your interview. Having a broad understanding of the types of questions you may be asked is a great place to start. As a recent college grad, you will likely be asked why you chose to attend your college. It may seem unrelated to your job application and interview, but employers are looking for fresh faces that bring what they learned in their education into the work field.
What Made it Worthwhile?
When answering why you chose to attend your college, take some time to reflect upon why the experience was worthwhile and what you learned that is applicable to your career. For instance, did you attend a college with an incredible and affordable study abroad program? If so, tell your hiring manager! An opportunity like that can be very relatable to any job as it probably taught you to be independent, tolerable, respectful and gave you skills to relate and interact with people of all backgrounds. All of these aspects can be used at any job. Thus, your answer has now reflected how your college experience can be applied to your employment position.
Another factor to include in your answer is how you came upon this decision. If your college decision was made based on the location of your friends or significant other, your prospective employer will not want to hear that as your answer. Instead, show your employer how your strong decision making skills led you to your choice. Some possible answers include the following:
· I chose my college because it values the arts and provided me with opportunities to view and participate in music, art, dance and theater events.
· I chose my college because it gave me a chance gain my foundational skills before I student taught in 3rd grade at a local school.
· I chose this college because their primary focus is in educating students to be globally aware and innovative members of society. I was able to study abroad in England while learning about another culture and applying my education to the world around me.
Giving specific reasons and examples is a powerful tool when answering this question as it allows hiring committees to understand how your learned skills can be used at their company.
Independent Learner or Strong Team Mate?
Another aspect to keep in mind is what traits your almost employer is looking for. If you are interviewing for an independent writing position, you can talk about how your college provided you with lots of time to work independently. Next, discuss how that helped you to be self-disciplined when it came time to research and write. On the other hand, if the company you wish to work for values teamwork and group projects, make sure to highlight the college assignments you completed when working with a team. These two answers can show two completely different sides of you. If you are strong in both, then tell your interviewer this! Hiring managers are usually looking for well-rounded individuals that can meet deadlines and work alone while still being able to work professionally with a team.
Remember Your Major
One final aspect to keep in mind is the choice behind your major. If your college did not offer a degree in your chosen field, you would not have attended there, right? Therefore, you can also touch on your choice to major in a certain field. If you earned a degree in finance, you can explain how your college has some of the best professors in the industry along with incredible opportunities to learn from professionals already in the business. If you earned a degree in elementary education, discuss how your college acquired a new education building with top-notch technology that allowed you to learn about the best digital tools for teaching. Then tell your employer how you intend to use your knowledge of technology and the latest education games and online books to teach your students.
The question of why you chose the college you did may seem unrelated to your prospective job. However, it is an honest way for your probable employer to understand your goals, character, work ethic and compassion for your chosen career field. Your college choice helped you earn a degree, and now it may help you land a job.